Recently, in my post Top Five Creepy Social Media Marketing Tactics, one of the commenters mentioned that she needed to tweet from multiple identities for two reasons: 1) she felt some followers wouldn’t be interested in what one “personality” had to say and also 2) she had FOUR blogs because she was interested in different things, and she believed she needed separate blogs to keep the topics and readers separate so as to avoid confusion.
I get this scenario more than I care to, so today we are going to tackle the big question:
When Do Writers Need Multiple Blogs?
It is never necessary for a writer to have multiple blogs. Can we choose to have them? Sure. Is it a good use of time? Nope. We need that time and word count for the most important aspect of our author platforms…MORE BOOKS.
See, here’s the thing. When we step out and decide we want to be writers, most of us will not get paid for a while, which means that there will be a period of time where we will have to balance a day job along with social media, blogging and the writing of the actual book.
Additionally, most of us don’t have a house full of servants. Laundry, dishes and dust bunnies are not going to magically disappear because we have decided to follow our lifelong dream of being a career author. Spouses, children, friends and family will still need us, and, frankly, they should. It keeps us balanced. We need these multiple roles in order to be emotionally healthy.
Yet, too many of us, the second we discover social media, promptly develop a condition I call R.D.D.—or, Reality Deficit Disorder. R.D.D. can cause headaches, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, premature aging, hair loss, weight gain, a weird twitch in our left eye, and a need to shout expletives at passing strangers.
If left untreated. R.D.D. can be fatal…to our careers.
No one will stop us from having multiple blogs, but if we are spread so thinly we begin wearing our underwear on the outside of our clothes, how useful is that to our career?
We also have to look at what our real end goal is. Are we blogging to build our author platform–our BRAND which is our NAME—or do we have the goal of having a nervous breakdown? There is a thin difference, and that is why it is critical to look at WHO is offering the advice.
We are going to look at some BAD social media advice I’ve seen floating around the Twitterverse from, um “experts”:
A writer is blogging for pleasure and who has multiple interests needs separate blogs.
NO. BAD ADVICE. First of all, all of our blogging should be blogging for pleasure. There is no reason that a blog that supports our brand cannot be fun. Why are these activities assumed to be mutually exclusive? What is the point of churning out thousands of words a week if they aren’t serving to build our brand? Come on. Let’s work smarter, not harder.
When I coach writers how to blog to build a brand, it is their interests other than writing that are going to connect to readers. Blogging about our book and our writing process will wear us out quickly. And, to be blunt, since when is talking about ourselves non-stop ever been a good plan for connecting with others?
Ten years ago, who cared if an author could cook or garden? Now? Those hobbies are the very things that are going to help you reach out to readers. Readers don’t give a flying squirrel’s butt about three-act structure, Create Space, or the future of publishing, so if we hope to extend our influence to persons who are not writers, these interests become vital. Thus, to put them on a separate blog will actually undermine our ability to influence and convert blog readers to fans of us and our books.
Oh, and as far as needing separate blogs for different interests? Give the reader some credit. If we switch topics, it will not fracture their reality. Really. Our brains are bigger than the average goldfish. We also don’t start crying when you leave the room because we believe you are gone forever. Please stop treating us like we need a drool cup.
This is why blogs should always be branding YOU. Slap your name at the top and then you don’t have to strictly adhere to one subject. Why? Because the common thread that will tether ALL your blogs together is your writing voice. In fact, the purpose of your blog is to expose as many people as possible to your writing voice so that they fall in love and buy your books no matter what genre you write.
Many “experts” claim writers should blog about the writing process. WRONG.
Most fiction authors are expert storytellers, not expert writing teachers. In fact some of the worst writing teachers I’ve encountered are authors. Frankly, this is a boneheaded assumption anyway.
Oh, because Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world, he must be a whiz of a golf instructor, too.
Teaching writing is a totally different skill set, and frankly, one that will not connect you to readers who aren’t also writers. Writers are experts at looking at the world around them…and assigning meaning. Writers often are interested in everything.
Use that beautiful fascination and curiosity in your blogs, too.
If we have to maintain separate blogs for every interest, that is a formula to burn out and give up. Any social media strategy that ends with us curled in the fetal position in a closet clutching a bottle of scotch is just BAD.
More bad advice…
You might need more than one blog if you write under multiple names.
Again….why? Go to NYTBSA Bob Mayer’s site. We know he blogs, but he also has 5 other pen names. Would Bob have any time to write more books if he had a separate blog for every identity? Again, I think it is a tad insulting for us to assume that readers are morons. We “get” that Bob Mayer has sci-fi books under the name of Robert Doherty, and yet we live to tell the tale. Besides, pen names are old paradigm. Even Bob has streamlined to ONE NAME.
Why Pen Names Suck & Can Make Us Crazy will explain why, in the Digital Age, pen names should be avoided at all costs.
If you insist on a pen name, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. You will need a good plan for branding while managing multiple names. My books will show you how to do this and actually have time left to write more books.
Anyway, having separate blogs all over the place is certainly one way to do it. Of course we also have the option of hand sewing all our clothes and growing our own food. Doesn’t mean that is the most efficient or best use of our time.
But what if I am writing YA, erotica, sci-fi, and cookbooks? Don’t I need different blogs for each platform?
Invariably I get a question akin to this when I tackle this notion that we don’t need separate pen names and identities and blogs/platforms for different audiences. First of all, if you are writing 6 different genres, blogging is the least of your worries.
Also, if you are writing YA, teenagers who read blogs like to be spoken to as if they are just another adult. They are a precocious bunch who like content that targets adults so there isn’t any need to “make content younger.” Blogging posing as a teenager is risky. If you are found out, you chance a massive backlash. We are in an age where people desire authenticity, so pretending we are something we aren’t is a huge risk.
If you want to blog to build a platform for YA, then your target audience will be adults (or teenagers who believe they are adults). A lot of real adults buy and read YA. Blogging doesn’t have to reach massive groups of teenagers, but it CAN reach massive groups of adults who want to relive the young and stupid years… *cough* Twilight.
If you need a separate pen name and identity to write erotica, again we need to look at time. How can we reasonably cook, clean, pay bills, go to work, write four different genres and build a solid separate platform for all? We can’t. Or we can, but not do any one of them all that well.
If you write erotica and another genre, my recommendation is that you focus on building the platform that won’t cause problems with your employment. Pen names offer only a thin veneer of protection and the more content you post, the greater the odds your pen name won’t protect your privacy. Sorry. Wish I could tell you differently, but that is the truth.
The Heart of the Problem
But beyond the simple challenge of multiple names and blogs, we need to make sure we are addressing the REAL problem. We need to ask hard questions and make certain that this is not subconscious sabotage.
Are we setting ourselves up for failure out of fear? Fear of failure or even fear of success? Do I write YA and erotica because I fear success? Thus I hold back on both of them because success in either means answering a lot of uncomfortable questions and could create a backlash? Or do I fear failure? So if I spread myself too thinly, then I will have a reason other than lack of talent to account for my failure.
I had to face this choice, myself. I wanted to write every genre. I loved fantasy and women’s fiction and thrillers and NF. But eventually I had to choose if I hoped to enjoy any success. If I didn’t choose, then it would have been impossible for me to focus my energy. Lack of focus is a huge reason that too many talented writers never make it. They have chosen a plan that has very high odds of failure.
I am not telling anyone they must choose. Feel free to write 5 different genres and blogs to build platforms for each. Just make sure you ask the hard questions first. I, personally, had come from a very high-achieving family who was less than thrilled I wanted to be a writer. There finally came a day that I had to be honest and confess that I was terrified of failure, and THAT was the real reason I wanted to write 42 different genres.
At the end of the day, the same goes for blogs.
We can have multiple blogs under different names writing on different subjects, but is that a good plan? I want all of you to enjoy success, and the fastest and easiest way to be successful is to embrace focus. Make every effort work together in perfect concert.
Most of the time, when I meet an author howling how social media doesn’t work, it is their approach that is flawed. All their efforts are spread out like white light. Take those diffused efforts and focus them like a laser and social media will be far more effective and it will take a lot less time.
A balanced writer who still has relationships, hobbies and time to sleep is a writer who can endure and turn out quality material for the long-term. R.D.D. is serious and not to be taken lightly. Focus, goal-setting and a group of friends willing to use tough love are the best cure.
Do you suffer from R.D.D.? How did you snap out of it? What are your greatest fears about choosing a genre? What ways do you recommend for being more efficient? Do you have any advice or tactics? Problems? Questions?
***Image above is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
I LOVE hearing from you guys!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of September, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.
At the end of September I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!
Winner!!!—TL Jeffcoat is the winner of 20 pages of edit for August. Please send your 5,000 word Word document to kristen@ wana intl dot com.
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
When I asked my great publicist (see my blog, if you want her name) whether I should have a second blog for subjects that don’t directly deal with writing and publishing (like spirituality and psychic development), she was adamant: no.
So, thanks, for concurring!
I agree about not spreading yourself thin with multiple blogs as far as author platform goes. Now if you want to create a second and third site as an alternate stream of revenue and that’s your vocation then that’s different I guess. I struggled much of this year about how to launch a new site that combined my passions and the type of things that appear in any books I’ll ever write, so for me it makes sense to combine pop culture, history, and faith. Strategic branding is the key to connecting seemingly disconnected things. Sometimes combining multiple interests makes for a great blog title or subtitle. Using the examples above, I think that Erotica Cookbooks would be funny if that’s your thing.
Clay, thanks for the comment. You know I love you, so I am going to chastise you for changing your Twitter handle. Unless you change your name to “Undead Clay” we can’t buy your books by that name, so you are losing your most powerful marketing tool, the “top of mind.” We learn your name like your content and then buy your books. When we use monikers, we are asking readers/followers to take extra steps to find our name to buy our books. This “friction” will cost sales. @ClayMorganPA was a superior choice for branding.
I agree, Fryber.
Did some agent make you do that? I was tweeting @ClayMorganPa for a while before I realized you were Undead.
It takes up less space. 😉
I love you too 😀 I still agree just as much with ya on the importance of name branding, but here’s why I made the switch. Whether on my Twitter profile page or on any single tweet I ever send, the first name visible in all bold is CLAY MORGAN. Anyone who interacts with me or finds me through conversation gets that first, and it is the most important thing. Going w/ @UndeadClay as a handle is designed to attract a specific demographic, and it is working in connecting w/ peeps who love zombie/undead culture, people who would never care about ClayMorganPA but might perk up at UndeadClay.
It’s an experiment yes, but a measured one. I don’t think I would’ve done it if my full name wasn’t still prominently displayed everywhere. And I’m hanging on to @ClayMorganPA as well.
“A balanced writer who still has relationships, hobbies and time to sleep is a writer who can endure and turn out quality material for the long-term.”
Amen to that sister!
I blog three times a week at my own site, blog paid once a week for someone else, write (and market and promote) NF books and write articles for a living. I’m fried!
Add another blog? Long loud dubious snort of laughter.
At the risk of being rude, no one is THAT interesting. Seriously. No one. Make your one and only blog a go-to must-read and I am there. I barely have time for my own blog, let alone someone else’s ONLY blog. Multiples? No. Too many blogs are weak as it is. Make it amazing and people will return.
But…but…What about my dog’s blog?
Keep it on YOUR blog. He can have a day. Why spread yourself out so thinly? We can do fun, quirky stuff and keep it in the same place. Readers are smart. They “get” your dog is not the one writing the post, so why would it be a huge deal to put him on your blog? 😀
Actually, I’ve been running a goofy website for a few years that has become somewhat popular. It is specifically NOT under my name (but it does include the dog) and everyone keeps telling me that I need to start a website under my own name not some “cutesy name” So I did that.
Now you are telling me something I wanted to hear months ago: KEEP THEM ALL TOGETHER. And I feel like this is a better way to go but how do I integrate my name with my website after all these year? Do I keep the original website and just start using my name? Do I start an “author page” as a subsection of it? Have you any more words of wisdom?
I think you can totally integrate all of them. If you make a plan for a “product launch” of your new-and-improved blog, you can simply give readers a heads up as to what you’re doing.
From a technological standpoint, it’s a matter of choosing a good web page name (like your name), and merging everything together. You can even make a tab “What going on here? Where do I start” and explain how you merger, and why.
Also, you can simply “point” your original website — now to the current blog, so when people type in http://www.whateveryouroriginalwebsiteis.com they will actually be redirected to your “new and improved” merged blog.
You can even make a welcome message, with a pop-up to join an enewsletter.
Don’t be afraid!
-Just getting my blogging ducks in order
Fantastic tips. Going to keep that in mind when I streamline mine into one. Thanks for the tips.
Thank you! I have been struggling with the question of whether to set up different blogs because I write scripts (past experience), and now have ideas for children’s books and songs. You have saved me a lot of time and trouble with this blog.
I’ve been suffering from RDD for a while now. I’ve lost all sense of direction lately but I suddenly feel inspired. Time to get back on track.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this! But I do have 3 blogs, arg! One I rarely use any more. The second one is REQUIRED for my client because they want their brand (not me) used. But my main blog covers all the bases my readers (and I) enjoy. Dogs, cats, bling, fiction, writing…and misc crappiocca. And yep, I notice that readers check in on the day/topics that interest them, doggy people on Woof Weds and kitty folks on Feline Friday and some are hit or miss. But it’s all in one place.
I don’t know if I have RDD but I have a weird twitch in my right eye not left, maybe because it can see better lol
Luckily, I have read your books (THANK YOU) before I started blogging, so I avoided many mistakes and I always wanted to write only literary fiction, lucky me 🙂 And unlucky me, because I also like composing and singing, and it’s hard to find time for everything, but at least I can switch between music and writing easily 🙂
I only blog on science, film, music and books once a week, because it takes 3-6 hours to write a blog for me, plus some more time to do research. But I’m happy I do it, because my general and scientific writing has improved and I met new friends 🙂
Thanks for a great answer to the question you posed. The only social media “extra” I have is a writer Facebook page that I use to post links to my new blog posts and interesting articles for people who are interested in writing/publishing, etc. My personal Facebook page is just that–personal. I’m a one blog writer, and frankly that’s enough of a challenge for me. I have a permanent link to your site on my blogroll. 🙂
So pretending I’m a silvery blue dragon is risky?
I definitely wouldn’t have the time or the energy to try and be two or more people! I struggle to find time to keep one blog going and write and keep up with social media and live. At least I now know what illness I’m suffering from… R.D.D.
Thanks Kristen for yet another wonderful post. 😀
I do have two blogs: one about my writing and living with Aspergers’s, and another about my passions of being green and natural. Reading this blog has made me think whether I need these two separate or not, and to merge them. Think I shall have to read your ebook about blogging. The other multiple face I have is FB: I have an author page and personal one. The author one I keep for tidbits about what I am working on, the other for tidbits about other writing successes and things I like seeing and doing.
This particular entry is one of my faves! Juggling several blogs under different names? Teaching Freshman Comp, beginning instruction in teaching online classes, writing my book, maintaining my own blog, and living my life keeps me busy enough.
Wow, it sounds like I’m on the right track. I fussed for weeks over having a different name for each genre I write in, and even longer about sticking to just one blog. I eventually decided to go with one name and one blog then learn how to do it right, that’s why I took the WANA course. I just love it when I get stuff right.
Great post, WANA MAMA, thanks for all the effort and common sense you bring to the WANA world.
Excellent advice. I did this very thing at first, thinking I needed a blog for my scifi books and another for my fantasy. And, I almost started a THIRD BLOG! One day I got to thinking that there’s a reason they blend those two genres together so often… I mean really!!…SFF you big dummy! So, long story a little longer, I combined them all into one. One blog to rule them all. Thanks as always for the great tips Kristen!!
My blogs have been cryogenically frozen for a few years, awaiting a cure for my R.D.D. This may be it.
Great point, well said. The blogosphere is so badly crowded these days anyway, I can’t think of a reason to do more than one blog. That being said, I do have two. My personal/writer and a legal blog that I post to very occasionally in connection with my day job. Zero overlap, for very good reason.
Thanks for sharing this. It’s timely and needed.
blogging at I Was Just Thinking . . . (http://bellewoodfarm.blogspot.com/)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I keep hammering people about this on my blog too, but still, it seems as if half the bloggers I try to contact have 1) 3 or more blogs, none of which have been updated since that rant about the ending of “Lost” 2) no contact information on any of them. 3) cutsie names that give no indication of who is writing the blog.
I’m going to spread this one around everywhere. Thanks, Kristen!
I’m not attacking here, my tone is questioning. Just the other day Dean Wesley Smith posted about pen names and why if you switch genres, it’s imperative to take on a pen name. He didn’t suggest hiding them from your viewers though. He didn’t say start another blog but you should have a static website under the name.
I agree that it seems silly to have more than one blog.
I agree it’s probably wiser to stay focused on your brand. But I also think there’s wisdom in experimenting and branching off because sometimes something different can take off and the author never would’ve known unless they’d tried. For example, Steena Holmes, who took a chance, branched off from her pen name and her brand and made 6 figures last month.
Sigh. But again, more conflicting advice on the webs from professionals in the same field. Unless I missed something.
Most writers are hard-pressed to do ONE blog well and finish ONE book. I hear great whining and moaning all the time that writers don’t have enough time, that they have to do social media. Then the second I instruct to streamline, I get great gnashing of teeth how “Such-and-Such made a bazillion dollars and SHE has multiple personalities.”
Frankly, people win the lottery every week, but I wouldn’t recommend that method for retirement.
John Locke who has made 6 figures as an author has written like six genres, all same name. Bob Mayer, six maybe even seven genres and he is making SEVEN figures. I think I would bank on one name. Less hassle. Less work. More time to write more books. But for those who want to have multiple personalities, have fun storming the castle :D. No whining that you have no time.
Since you mentioned Locke … will you comment on the paid-reviews debacle that everyone’s talking about?
Some bloggers who leave comments on my blog have several blogs. I always click on their profile pic and it takes me to their Blogger profile. Some of them have multiple blogs and I have a hard time figuring out which one is their main blog. I have to click on each and find the one with the most current date, and that’s the post I read and comment back on. But it’s time consuming. You’d think the blog listed at the top is their main blog, but not always.
I’m glad you addressed the pen names. My main genre is middle grade fiction (ages 8-12), but I have an edgy YA I’m working on, too. I go back and forth on whether to use a pen name for it or not. It will be awhile before it’s ready to publish, but when that time comes, I think I’ll describe it as edgy with a warning that it contains ‘colorful language’ or something like that. I’m not sure how to handle it. Any suggestions?
P.S. My strait jacket is thread bare so I’m shopping for a new one. Do you know where I can get one in a perky pink or another color? Dingy white or gray just isn’t flattering. 🙁
I have two blogs, BUT I make the same post on both of them and I blog about all the things that interest me, new age, gardening, hobbies pet peeves. It’s just like you keep saying; it’s about connecting to people.
This is something I’ve wondered about for a long time, not because I had the remotest interest in starting more blogs, but because I’ve been startled at the number of people who talk about the strain of keeping their multiple blogs updated and fresh.
Why, I wondered, would anyone do that to themselves? The very thought makes me queasy with anxiety. Some days it’s enough of a struggle chipping away at the WIP; if I had to throw in three or four blog updates, I’d have to pack the whole thing in forthwith.
Your point that what will draw readers to our blogs doesn’t include our navel-gazery obsession with our writing is well taken. That might draw other writers, but really, how many blogs about writing craft and technique do we really need? I am in the (very slow) process of changing my own blog to allow more room for talking about the things that interest me other than writing, and I’ve been wondering about the soundness of that strategy. Your post is most reassuring, so thank you for that!
I’ve been following your great blog for a while now, Kristen, even though I’ve not been commenting (sorry!) and this post couldn’t be more timely. I’m struggling now with 3 different blogs for different genres of writing: 1 main blog for reading and writing which I have no trouble updating a few times a week, 1 for historical romance and 1 for children’s fiction, both of which are draining me. I’ve been trying to decide what to do about them all and I think I might have just read the answer. Thank you! Rosemary in Scotland, who is also Romy and Ros (another mistake?)
Last name is really what is most critical. Should be fine :D.
Thanks to Kristen I already blog about whatever strikes my fancy on that day, and I find my recipe blogs get more attention than most others. I took a pen name before I knew better, and have used that for everything “writerly” including Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, LinkedIn and two Facebook pages. I still have a FB page under my “real” name. Sometime soon I think I’m going to have to resolve the FB issue! I have an identity there as a long time dog breeder/judge so I think I’ll have to just suck it up and do a little bit more FB exposure. As it is, Monica references whenever Mona blogs.
Lynn, I bet one of those fancy corsets would make a great strait jacket
Mona, I love the idea of a fancy corset. I could have a seamstress customize it and add the tie-down sleeves! Thanks!
Interesting about the pen names. Amazing Bob Mayer has 5 pen names. My head would be spinning!
Certainly agree with your use cases. Running two blogs with associated Twitter and FB accounts is difficult. However, as a writer, I can’t spam my followers with health-related articles. I created a second blog as a separate business for the Bulletproof diet I follow. I think that’s the exception. Separate blogs are necessary if you’re running them as a business.
Of course, you could say “Isn’t your second blog hampering your writing career?” That would be a valid question. 🙂
Thanks for the post, I have been toying with the idea of a second blog, but your post has definitely made me rethink that. I also appreciate your section of “The Heart of the Problem” as someone just starting out I have fallen victim to the multiple genre idea. I think you summed it up brilliantly when you said, “Or do I fear failure? So if I spread myself too thinly, then I will have a reason other than lack of talent to account for my failure.” Thanks for putting into words what I couldn’t. Now that I have acknowledged/admitted that it’s on to the next step. Thank you again for a great post.
Shame on you, KL. Making me think on a Friday. Given that I teach Junior High, this is an impressive feat.
I do have more than one blog; however, I devote 95% of my blog energy to one blog: IronicMom.com. Thanks to you, it’s now called Leanne Shirtliffe ~ Ironic Mom, and it’s my branding site.
I contribute once a month to Wordbitches.com for fun. And I co-run StuffKidsWrite.com, which is the not-so-little blog that could. Without Chase McFadden or I doing anything, the content there has been Freshly Pressed, and has been picked up by Babble, BuzzFeed, NickMom.com, WordPress Recommended Humor Blogs, and Huffington Post. We laugh because that thing has its own life (and a healthy list of subscribers).
So, I’m breaking one of your rules (at least!)…
And I’m thinking on a Friday, which means I’m breaking one of my rules.
Happy Weekend, eh!
Oy. I have two blogs. One is my own — with my name — the other is with my mom and sister. Now I seriously have to think, do I keep both? Do I use the multiple one as my main one? Do I not do anything and let one die a natural death?
No matter what, you’ve got me thinking. And I’m embarrassed to say, I write YA and erotica…dang.
I agree that blogs for authors stifle any non-writing readers who might happen by; I have one specifically for sci-fi writers and another blog just for fun observations. Sometimes they intersect on a subject, sometimes not. I rarely cross promote but am thinking about it after this post. I also contribute to a group blog of sci-fi authors as well and contribute to an online magazine/press on occasion. Even these keep me frenzied not to mention the obsessive social media that I’m beginning to dislike.
I’m so glad you addressed this. Reading it still doesn’t fix the whacky voices in my head screaming, more blogs, more blogs! yes! one for each genre you write! *shushes voices in head* I’ve been struggling with this for a while now, and I’m wondering if maybe I need to quit trying to write several genres and just stick to one. I need to lose the “I want to write it all” attitude.
A huge part of me w/ the “I want to write it all” attitude is really just a scaredy-cat. My fear of failing at one, keeps me from giving up the others. Sheesh, it’s frustrating.
Here’s something funny, so I’m attempting to get rid of a spelling of my name I started two years ago (Candy Lynn). I blame it on my mother who always wrote my short name Candy, but my full name Candice Lynn, which would be shortened to Candi. Right? So, I’m attempting to go through all of my online places and use one, combined, so it’s easier. Candilynn. What a booger to fix.
Thanks again for helping clear up the fuzzy thoughts. 🙂
Another idea … if you want to write on a different topic, find a great blogger, come up with a great idea and guest post!
I resist the urge to give into RDD by remembering where my audience members hang out. Rather than trying to be on every social media site, I only maintain a presence on the ones where my readers are. I know I’ll go nuts if I join every shiny new network that comes along.
You know I’m a recovering two blog girl and I wholeheartedly agree. Life has been much easier once I merged everything into one. And I agree on the genre thing. I love a lot of genres and have story ideas for a lot of them. But the truth is that when you’re starting a career, the most logical path is to pick one genre and build a name there before branching out. That’s what a publisher is going to want. My editor doesn’t want me submitting horror stories and YA stories and whatever other bunny I want to chase. She wants erotic romance from me because they want me to build momentum with readers. It’s another part of branding. Once I have that recognizable name, then maybe I can try other things.
This is a great post! I do have two blogs (bites lip nervously) but one is my writing blog and the other is my modeling/fashion blogger blog. 🙂 I wouldn’t want to bore the men or the women who aren’t into that thing on my writing blog.
But as far as having more than one author site, yikes that would get very time consuming indeed. I think readers appreciate the honesty if a writer does specialize in more than one genre, rather than having two different identities and spreading yourself out too much.
Well…guess I’m good at breaking all the rules. I write in multiple genre’s currently under 2 names, but now if I do go for that 4th genre I might just do it under my name. Crazier things have happened. I see them as similar just different levels of sensuality. I always thought you had to be a bigger name to merge under one like Sherrilyn Kenyon who can write from YA adventure to Erotic romance and back again. Thanks for opening my mind to other options.
Timely post. I’m planning to epublish a series of gay erotic/romance shorts (six to start) under a pen name soon. My reasoning is, the audience for this is completely different for my long form (YA mostly, one that MIGHT be trad published soon, but if not will be epublished too). But I don’t plan on blogging in my pen name. Frankly I don’t want to blog in my real name either. And I hate HATE twitter. I would prefer to write more and forget the platform building for now. I hate that term, platform by the way.
Since your point is, don’t do anything that will take away from your ability to write more and better books, can we just skip the blogging altogether? Frankly I don’t want to write about writing and don’t want to write about myself. I had a political blog a few years back and it was VERY time consuming, for very little benefit.
Great post! I just sorted through my Blogger follow list, which I thought I’d done sufficently with a scan through, but this time I actually clicked on each link to see each latest blog post. I was shocked how many blogs I thought were still active hadn’t posted in six months. Some had messages up: Well guys, sad to say but life has taken over and I have to prioritize. I’m shutting the blog down, etc. I probably cleared out 20 blogs that I thought were active that weren’t.
The point is, I think people have great intentions with blogging, but it requires upkeep and that can fall to the wayside. I agree with setting realistic guidelines, sticking to one blog, and if you’re really busy, try to join with another person for a group blog. That way you’re posting less but still producing content. Plus, accountability.
Thanks again for an excellent post that I’m tempted to retweet to the world. Well, just once, and I’ll skip the #MyWANA tag this time since you’ve all seen it 🙂
<a href="http://www.agirlandherdiary.blogspot.com"<My blog: A Girl and Her Diary
whoops did that link wrong:
My blog: A Girl and Her Diary
I’m so thrilled that you’ve made it so clear about not having pen names in this day and age. And not having different author names for different genres. Only a few years ago it was virtually obligatory. The argument was that if you wrote crime novels and had a following that were waiting with baited breath for your next crime novel, and you suddenly thrust an erotic romance at them using the same name, you would quickly lose your fans.
So I had been writing romance using my married name – Sheila Belshaw – and then wrote a psychological crime thriller and thought, well I’ll use my maiden name Sheila Taylor but there were so many Sheila Taylors out there that I stuck in my middle name too and became Sheila Mary Taylor. When my next book was due out my publisher said I had to use the same name even though it was a different genre, and now I have three books out on Amazon under my maiden name. But I’m still known socially as Sheila Belshaw. I also have 5 books published years ago using Sheila Belshaw. What shall I do? Shall I stick to Sheila Mary Taylor and start my blog using that name, and change my Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. names to Sheila Mary Taylor as well, and virtually become this person, socially as well, instead of good old Sheila Belshaw? Kirsten, I know you will have the answer to my dilemma at your finger-tips,
An aspect which seems to warrant more than one blog is blogging across more than one platform. The potential readers on other platforms are hard to attract, whereas they feel ‘at home’ with a blog on the same platform as theirs. I have found that some do cross over, but mostly one gets a specific readership from each.
But there is no reason you can’t just do two different days. That is what I recommended Roni Loren do. She is an erotic romance author and she had the Fiction Groupie blog. She was half killing herself maintaining both, so I told her to combine them into ONE Roni Loren blog. People who didn’t want to see nearly naked men would just tune in on the days she wrote the Fiction Groupie posts. To maintain separate blogs is SO time-consuming. It fractures our time, our platform and it is highly presumptuous.
How do we really know what other people will and won’t like? Granted if we write bible studies AND erotica that probably won’t mix. But there are writers out there assuming that people who read sci-fi wouldn’t also be interested in recipes or stories about kids. WHY? We all have other lives, too.
When music went digital, there was a MASSIVE shift in how people listened to music. People started having a far more eclectic taste because the lower costs allowed people to sample a lot more kinds of music without the risk of spending $10 or $20 on an LP with ONE good song. When people could start buying music a song at a time, they developed a lot more dynamic tastes. Same with reading and books. Don’t underestimate readers ;).
The only problem with your logic, Kristen: who DOESN’T want to see nearly naked men? LOL, just kidding! 😉
I’m so excited you did a post on having more than one blog. I was going back and forth on this. I only wanted one, but I see so many authors with multiple. You just helped me decide! Thank you!!
*sigh* How is it that you kick my sorry butt once again and I feel nothing but the sincerest gratefulness for it? ;D
Guilty as charged for having more than one blog. I started one blog (about home life – homesteading, homeschooling) about 6 years ago before it even occurred to me that I should have an official writer’s blog. I have a modest but decent number of followers on that blog (118), whereas my “writer’s blog”, which was started about a year or so ago, only has maybe 4? I actually don’t know because I didn’t put in the appropriate gadget to let people follow the blog.
My dilemma is: I don’t want to close my home life blog because more people are reading that than the writer’s blog, but I can’t change the url of it to reflect an all encompassing theme of ME. To complicate matters, I actually created an author’s website now which also has blog capabilities. So, which one of my babies do I let die? Decisions, decisions.
It’s worse than trying to decide what to get off the dessert menu…
When I saw your image of a straight jacket I couldn’t stop giggling. I’m sure if someone had walked by when I was reading this post they would have been dying to know what was so funny. It also gave me sheer panic for three seconds until I realized your point was to NEVER have multiple blogs. Thank goodness!!!!!!! I was stressing (for those three seconds) about the possibilities of staying alive AND managing more than one blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, but good gracious, the little blog child of mine requires enough attention all on its own in addition to writing posts for it.
Kristen, you’ve made my Friday, maybe even my whole year. Thank you!
I’m going to have to rethink my blogging strategy….
As usual you’ve given me plenty to ponder and for that, I thank you – again!
By the way, have you picked August’s winner out of your hat? One more thing, I’m not sure if I mentioned this or not, but my book, The Bellman Chronicles, will be free to download on my Amazon Kindle page on September 10 and 11.
I hope you can grab a copy; I know you must be ridiculously busy, but I think you’ll enjoy it. If and when you actually get a chance to read it, that is!
Such good advice. After one of your seminars I started blogging and found something I loved. I did some of the stuff you suggested the right way and then I had to go try some of the stuff you said not to do. Then in the middle of it, life interrupted and I just blindly kept blogging, because I was scared not to. I mean I had about a dozen people following me and I couldn’t let them down, could I? In the last few months I’ve been reassessing the whole thing and I find myself getting closer and closer to the model you suggested – and the results are amazing. Wouldn’t it be great if all of us would just do what you tell us to do and get over the need to make all of your mistakes ourselves.
Thank Kristen for confirming what I’ve been struggling to do the past few months – merge my writing blog with my crafting book binding blog and give up my second identy on twitter. However, I’ve feared my crafting fans and etsy customers might not be as enthrilled with my writing life and visa versa. I guess its time I jsut bite the bullet (so to speak) and find out.
Just do different days for each. I love meeting writers who talk about something other than writing. I would in fact, PREFER to look at your crafts than more stuff on writing. People have diverse interests and we shouldn’t assume they won’t be interested in more than one thing.
This seems to be the case with one six-figure blogger running two blogs. Just a month ago or so, he decided to merge them.
Funny enough, I just reviewed a book from an author who says that many writers should be using multiple pen names while writing across multiple genres. While he uses his real name for both YA and most of his adult series, he has written with at least two other pen names, and he’s going to use a “clever” one, according to him, for children books. It seems to be working for him, since he writes a lot while raising a family.
And there’s another author using a slightly different name (just a variation of her first name) for an upper YA series.
Also, my real name is clearly not Chihuahua Zero. Because I’m under eighteen, giving my name or identity away is currently a no-no. Let’s say that my parents wouldn’t approve of it until I actually get published.
Lastly, my real name is too similar to at least one famous figure. Katy Perry probably wouldn’t be as famous if she didn’t assume a stage name to put her apart from the other Katy Hudson. Isn’t one tip out there is to have an unique book title, or at least one which wouldn’t be buried on Google due to sharing the name of another work?
Your name doesn’t need to be unique. Stephen King, Dan Brown and James Rollins are not terribly unique names. And so long as your name isn’t the same as a super famous author, you are fine.
Not saying people can’t do it. Just saying it isn’t necessary and takes time from writing. It does. Maintaining multiple blogs is hard work. And just because you have multiple pen names doesn’t mean you need multiple blogs. I could write under a pen name and tell y’all, “Oh, by the way, pick up my romance under Fifi Fakename.” See. I bet you are okay and your head didn’t explode. Trying to maintain separate platforms fro a bunch of identities is just madness. Some people do crazy well. I prefer to put that crazy into books that earn money.
By the way, I emailed this article to one of the authors I mentioned. This is his response:
“As far as Kristen’s advice, I totally agree when it comes to the blogging, and totally disagree when it comes to the pen names.
Multiple blogs is highly stupid, and I am highly stupid for running more than one. The Digital Writer should not exist, it only exists because I’m stubborn.
Pen names, she’s dead wrong. I had all my stuff up under Sean Platt last year and it hurt my sales.
Someone who wants to learn how to build a list is not someone who wants to read a post-apocalyptic thriller, and that person is the same who wants to write a book of children’s poetry, or a children’s serial. Those are very different buyers, and it doesn’t matter how smart readers are, Amazon doesn’t promote what they don’t understand, and if your genres are all over the place then they won’t understand you well enough to promote you.”
It’s certainly possible he might be an exception, but I need to do research into the matter before dismissing either piece of advice.
I have two blogs, one is not as well used as the other. Their purposes are different. One is Bible study notes and the other is one called healing from abuse. I have been thinking of closing one out because I’m not tending it well enough. The content of one doesn’t fit with the other. You have given me a lot of food for thought. I am sharing this blog.
Seriously need a love button here! Started smiling when you wrote: “When Do Writers Need Multiple Blogs? Um…never.”
I’m an learning and development professional in my day-job and it’s what actually led me to platform building and blogging. It’s part of who I am and there are all kinds of cool synergies between writing and training/course design/training coordination. I have a separate blog category for the training stuff, but everything’s on one blog.
I spend enough time on SoMe as it is, and it was a conscious decision on my part to blog me and my life in all its lovely bits and pieces.
Thanks for the validation.
I am my brand, even if that brand is a mutt 🙂
I’m just getting started with my blog and I’m loving what I’m learning here!
Maybe by the time I finish my 4th novel I’ll settle down on one particular genre. Right now, I just have stories to tell. It’s good practice. 🙂 One of your earlier posts helped convince me that I didn’t need a pen name. If readers like my upcoming current-day family saga (in Dec.!) and come back next year when I release book no. 2 and see 2 knights on the cover, they’ll figure out right away that its a different genre. And book 3 will have space ships… 🙂
My favorite part of your post: the purpose of your blog is to expose as many people as possible to your writing voice so that they fall in love and buy your books no matter what genre you write.
YES!!! I like to read blogs by authors who talk about their family and their personal life. It makes them seem more like a friend. I follow a few writers who aren’t published yet, but when they do get published, I’ll read their books BECAUSE I LOVE THEIR WRITING VOICE.
I just got your book Are you there Blog, It’s me Writer. Since I am new to all this I hope it will explain why and how to do all this. Thanks for the help! Mary Jane
I can’t imagine having more than one blog – but I do have to say yes to the pen-name. CE Schwilk is mine. I’m not sure how connected I am to my “everyday” name (CE Schwilk is real; my maiden name) but for a very long time, I knew I was going to use this one, versus whatever name I’d have after being married, or whatever.
However, I still think I’m suffering from RDD! My focus? What focus? Well, I’m gravitating toward fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal and that’s as close to a niche as I can cram myself for the moment. We’ll see what I think next month, where it can all change and then I’ll be hanging from the rafters from my toes like a bat!!!!
I’m intrigued and interested and curious. I posted a question on this a few months ago on LinkedIn because so far all my publications have been erotica, but now I’m about to bring out a fantasy novel. The consensus was that if you wrote in two genres you should publish under two names, the idea being that readers of one may not be the same readers of the other.
I understand this. So I set up a second name and blog (comatose at present).
And now you’re saying I don’t need to do this. I kind of like the idea you are proposing, and also agree with what you’re saying. Damn it, I seem to agree with pretty much everything you say, Kristen 🙂
I like the idea because I have already built a readership for my erotica – and no, I don’t need to keep it a secret from anyone, my family know, my work colleagues know – but erotica is a different kind of genre to, say, writing thrillers and science-fiction? Or detectives and romance? Would someone who has enjoyed one of my erotic books be let down to read the new fantasy novel because it contains one tiny, non-explicit sex scene in 120,000 words?
Would someone who finds the fantasy and enjoys it and searches my author name and finds the erotica be upset? My titles are not explicit so maybe people would buy without knowing.
Oh, I’m so confused now… But thanks all the same for your clarity and insight and world-view.
Thanks to a Facebook post by a writer friend, I just spent an enjoyable quarter hour reading your blog blog. Well, (insert sarcasm) thanks a whole lot. Now I have to re-do my monthly budget to include funds to by your books. Great. I may even need to just stop talking about writing and do it. 🙂
Kristen, another point of wisdom as always. Or many points I should say. I titled my blog Little Bits because I wanted to write about everything. I have multiple interests. Hey, I’m getting old. There’s a lot of things I’ve looked into during all those years. I know a little about a lot of stuff. So that’s what I wanted my blog to be about; the variety of interests I have.
Then I read that a blog should be focused on one main theme. Blew my idea out of the water. Now I’ve come to see that those who claim the one theme idea have a specific group they are trying to disseminate information to. Their goal is the sale of a specific service or product. This is where their limiting blog idea breaks down for writers.
If you are marketing a service to accountants, hydroponic gardeners, marketing professionals, etc. the focused blog concept works. You will find readers looking for information on whatever they are looking for.
Readers on the other hand are a very diverse group. I know those who read my books are not all interested in the same things. Some may love gardening, others hate it. Some will be interested in knitting, crocheting, sewing and other needlework. Others will run screaming from the room upon seeing a spool of thread or hank of yarn.
To appeal to this varied group of my readers I believe it is important to be varied in my blogging.
So thank you, Kristen for another great post which frees us from the ‘experts’ who know how we should use blogging to build our platform.
Sophie I think we’re in the same boat. My non writing world is stuffed to overflowing with life lived and lessons learned. I tried briefly to narrow myself and my blog down to that and it was crashingly dull! So I expanded and I pick up a few new followers with every eclectic blog. BTW, I’m always open to hosting especially if you have a good recipe
I do have a great recipe that has a story behind it I’ve thought of writing. Slip over to my website and contact me, I’d love to do a guest post. http://www.sophie-dawson.com
I have so many blogs that I need the fingers of both hands to count them. My challenge is to envision one blog that would have my photos, my fiction project, my nonfiction project, my publishing identity, at a minimum. I also maintain two church blogs for my settings in ministry, one of which has audio downloads. I have a blog dedicated to building and using little boats, that is about 10 years old and gets as much traffic as any of the others.
I figure that I have nothing to lose by trying out the idea that JonRieleyGoddard.com can be the one platform of all my faces (though I will keep the boat site separate and will hang on to my Flickr account and maintain the two church blogs).
It might help to say that I am working less than full time and at retirement age.
When I try to see this one site, I have stubbed my toe on the challenge of mixing words and images.
I fancy myself as one who treats readers like adults, but do I? Perhaps I am falling into the trap of being fascinated by ME (a solitary pursuit if there ever was one).
Tnx for a lively post, Kristen.
Thanks again. Because of you I’ve chopped down three blogs to one, moved it to Word Press and began writing to my reading masses. LOL I’ve directed by readers to the new blog and am having a great time writing all sorts of things there. Whatever catches my attention. Thanks, Kristen.
Great post. Was particularly interested in the comments on blogs for YA writers … I’ve been struggling with this issue for a while.
I blog using a pen name that isn’t far off of my original birth certificate name. My real name acquired 30 years ago via marriage is too ethnic specific (tiny South Pacific Island where I’m related through marriage to EVERYONE). My only other sites that I blog on regularly are group sites. One is our local chapter of Sisters in Crime and the other is a newly forming consortium for writers, Wordsmith Studio. I find if I have something to say that doesn’t fit into these blogs, I could try to find a guest posting gig for that. Sounds much smarter than starting up a whole new social contract with an as-yet-to-be determined audience.
Great advice, Kristin. Thank you.
I have two blogs but simply for the reason of category. One blog I started specifically to explore the topic of Proverbs 31. Thats all I use it for. The other blog is for everything else. I have considered combining them since there is the category option in blogging, but my concern is more muddledness for me. Separate they are tidy. But I have been on the fence about this still, I am nervous to combine them for the reason just stated, but I keep wondering if in the long run I will wish I had combined them if I don’t.
Just do the topics on different days. Less work. Focused effort.
Whew…I’m OK I have one blog and everything about me, my books, book events and my growing writing community is there. I have separate pages which is easier to maintain than several blogs. You are right in your view that your readers want to know ‘you’ not just your ‘product’. Thank you
Okay wow. Someone left a link to your post in my FB group in answer to my question about my 2 blogs (personal and professional) and what to do with them. Thank you for your honest opinion. I’ve struggled with this for the summer, and as my priorities have shifted to writing I’ve realized that my blogging needs to change. Your comments about being afraid of failure are even more to the point in my life. So thanks, I’ll be thinking about your post as I mull over the next phase of my writing.
I’ve linked to one of your blog articles from http://wrightwriter.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/social-media-decisions-and-questions/ and have finally (and this time correctly) added a permanent link to your blog from my site. I really appreciate your keep-it-simply-and-honest’ approach to social media, and my next goal is to houseclean my Twitter followers of those folk who send out sales messages every 2 hours, so that I can have a conversation with those remaining. Thanks for your thoughtful messages.
Many thanks for this article. I’ve been trying to decide “to blog or not to blog” because I didn’t have a focused topic and didn’t want to “teach writing.” This gives me permission to relax a little.
Just wanted you to know, am taking an online class in blogging through my community college and, when asked for an example of blogs we think do it right, I have picked your blog to be the example. In looking through a lot of blogs to find my 3 examples of ‘really bad’ , ‘ok’ and ‘really good, I was surprised how many ‘really bad’ and ‘really mediocre’ I came across.
My blog will be more oriented towards creativity, digital and other forms of art but things you have said in your book (“Are you there…) about the blogging process have been so helpful. Thanks
I disagree. I think in some cases splitting things up can be a good thing. It’s not just bloggers that have a limited amount of time, so do your readers. If, for example, you blog five days a week with a different sub topic (your dog on Monday, your books on Tuesday, your family life Wednesday…) you could be creating 3-4 posts a week that to some of your audience are bordering on spam.
If I follow a blog/twitter feed on writing but keep having to filter through posts about your kids I’m more likely to just stop reading altogether. I unfollowed someone this morning after a page full of tweets unrelated to my interests – the occasional interesting tweet wasn’t worth all the noise.
In most cases, people aren’t interested in your whole life, just the part that they share an interest in. I think whether you separate or combine different topics are very much down to what those topics are, your audience(s) and how much crossover there is between what they are interested in reading.
I have a romance pen name but I’m considering dropping it. I had wanted to start up in the romance genre because I had some decent ideas in that area, and yet if I focus on my main genres (fantasy and scifi), I really won’t have time for the romance. So I’m thinking about just letting it go. It’s an idea, anyway.
I have a blog for that pen name, too, but never update it or the Twitter feed for that pen name, either. Too busy with my own. Go figure. 😀
Yay! Just what I needed to hear. I set up another blog for people who would be interested in the content of what I write rather than the book reviews and general stuff for readers that I have on my main blog, but it hasn’t taken off and I’m feeling like it’s a waste of time. I was thinking that I’d get rid of it and post everything on one blog, but I wasn’t sure if it was the best thing. You’ve given me exactly what I need – the backup to my intuition that I’d be better focusing all my efforts in one place.
I was thrilled when this post arrived. It confirmed that I was on the right track, and that keeping everything under one umbrella is the way go to. Thank you. 🙂
Kristen: I started a blog a few years before I had an author website, to begin to establish a web presence. When I created a website, I included a blog with it. So I had two blogs. I ported all the posts at the old blog to the new one, but kept the old, partly because I love the name: An Arrow Through the Air. So far I’ve had difficulty distinguishing the two blogs by my writing, but I try to make the writing blog about my writing career and process—not to teach but in the belief that my fan(s) will be interested in how I go about writing my works—with the other one about the subjects I write about, or any of my many interests.
As for multiple genres, I’m interested in so many things, which is a problem. And how do I know what will catch on and become a breakout work? So I write non-fiction history with a political association, church history fiction, a sports novel, and my planned works are all over the map. And I love them all. I think I suffer from GSD: genre scatter disorder, or whatever the right name for that is. It is different from RDD.
Make the voices stop!
Thank you for the kick in the, um, tush. I bought a domain name for a self-hosted blog months ago and have been gearing up by not doing anything to turn my two blogs into one for… too long.
Thanks, Kristen, I needed this. You mean I’m not the only writer interested in too many things?!! I thought about breaking my blog into two, one for history (historical fiction platform) and one for book hunting (I own a bookshop). Now I’m glad I didn’t. One blog is enough distraction from my writing.
I am getting involved in two group blogs, but I consider that like guest posting, with no compulsive schedule.
My blog is older than my novel writing, but I might need to change the title to include my name for better branding.
I have a hard enough time keeping up with ONE blog (I post daily, most weeks) & finding the time to add to my WIP’s word count. I couldn’t imagine running a separate blog for each genre or topic that crosses my fancy. I’ve been using my blog to explore different ideas, to find my voice, to see what it is that I want to write about which corresponds with what readers want to see. I’ve slowly come to some sort of daily schedule for different themes, which has helped keep me from getting too sloppy or “all over the board”. Mostly, though, my blog is in place for two reasons: one, my own personal entertainment (anyone else who is entertained is merely icing on my cake), and two, my eventual author platform (assuming I finish my WIP & get it published, *fingers crossed*). And I figure, I can write whatever kind of book I want, since I’ve already set a precedent for being eclectic. Also, since I’m somewhat crass & outspoken, gentle or easily confused readers already have an idea that maybe I’m not their cup of tea. Can’t please everyone, so I aim to please myself. I’m my own greatest fan, and that’s just fine by me! 🙂
I’m still struggling through the jungle of four blogs. However, I’m slowly focusing on wordpress as my main blog and am looking forward to dropping the rest. It takes some time for a new blogger to become comfortable with a certain blogging platform. While one may be more attractive because of the ease of using it, another may–with a little patience–actually prove to be better suited for a specific blogging theme. I’m sure I will continue stumbling through this wild, wild world of writing options.
I have two blogs. I used to have way more (starting a new one each time I had a new idea) because when I first started writing as a teenager I used to have multiple notebooks. Different covers or formats inspired different work and angles– and made idea-recovery easier, because I always knew (still know) what ideas would be found in what notebooks.
Now with ‘just’ two blogs it’s still a little garbled, but I think that’s self-consciousness: on my “home” blog I feel free to let it all be Me-me-me (sometimes. Certainly in a way I rarely feel free to do on my *other* blog), but with the emphasis (Jeff Goins comes to mind. Copyblogger, too) on making the blog about giving, and finding out what the reader wants– I hit a wall of writers’ block.
I write out of the overflow of my life, and sometimes I get told the writing was helpful, but my traffic never zooms up. So I tell myself the writing is my practice space and I’m cool with that. But I always wonder in a corner of my mind would would happen if I genuinely loved one thing enough to focus and write consistently in one direction.
Usually it ends up freezing me again, so I have to shake it out and go back to the overflow-model.
R.D.D.: “can cause headaches, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, premature aging, hair loss, weight gain, a weird twitch in our left eye, and a need to shout expletives at passing strangers.”
OMG this is exactly what happened to me! All of it. And there’s a name for it! That’s somehow comforting. (I’m in the recovery stages, by the way. It need not be fatal.)
Now I’m considering starting a second blog, devoted to posts about those who write multiple blogs.
Good advice here. We have to have focus, and balance. I’d add, write your favorite thing, as long as it’s your favorite. Then, changed it up.
Oi, you had to go and make me rethink stuff!
I just got a second blogging domain setup. My reasoning was that I wanted a domain for me as a writer/person and to have the majority of my blogging done there. Then, my other (which was my first) could become dedicated to that project.
Now I’m thinking that might have been a bad idea. Sigh. Thanks for your post, Kristen! You always have something good.
Thank you! I know so many writers who are juggling multiple blogs and I keep telling them they\’re crazy. Now I\’ll just send them this link. You\’ve said it so much more eloquently (and politely). Specifically I have a writer friend that starts a blog for each book she (self) publishes. I understand marketing self-published books is hard and online presence is important but surely she\’d be better off having a page for each book at her author site? Or a static site for each book? I genuinely don\’t know the answer to that one but I do know that a blog for each book (even after only a handful) is becoming unsustainable.
Wow this was amazing for me. I just started writing my first book this summer which I plan to get published by December. It’s a small devotional book. Your advise is on point for me. I have just TWO blogs, and I could never use them both. So, I totally agree.
Thanks a million for the great advise. Tomorrow, I’ll be reading your post about the publishing process. I am going to need that too I am sure. Blessings your way.
Yes, finally! I have multiple interests which I talk about on my blog –
* Exercise/ Cycling
* Art/ Photography
I don’t focus on one thing, my life and interests pull me in so many different directions. If I tried to blog about just ONE thing, I would be ONE dimensional. However, I am not. I like to chop and change and give people lots of different things to discover.
Running more than one blog?! Madness!
Drat. I just created a second blog (I read some of the aforementioned bad advice). Backpedaling now! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Interestingly, at the ACFW conference last week I had an agent tell me specifically that if I wanted to write in more than one genre I would have to have separate websites for each, separate blogs, etc. Totally doesn’t make sense to me to do it that way, but obviously there are differences of opinion about this.
Please do not listen to agents. Many of them still give advice from the 90s. When would you have any time to write books? Bob Mayer writes SIX genres and has ONE blog and ONE web site. Same with Joe Konrath. Same with John Locke. And, with all due respect, agents also said e-books and Facebook were a “fad.” I have spent the past six years battling this kind of stuff. Trust me. Publishing is generally not at the cutting edge and it is why they are currently losing so much market share. If you have one blog with a MASSIVE, mobilized, enthusiastic following, an agent won’t be upset.
The approach you recommend totally makes sense to me, Kristen.
This post was very helpful! Lots of great advice! Thank you. 😉
Great article! Tons of useful information! I’ve been contemplating mutiple blogs and you’ve confirmed what I thought – stay focused on one. Readers seem to enjoy whatever subject matter I throw at them. And they’ve come to recognize my voice. Thanks!
Based on your blog, I would definitely love to read your book ‘We Are Not Alone’ really soon.
Thanks for this great post!
Thank you so much for posting this! I have started a few blogs under a specific topic or area, though I’ve always ultimately felt trapped because I found myself wanting to write about something that was off topic. I’m now starting a blog that is simply under the category of “ME” and to write about anything that I feel I should share that day. I’m so glad I found this post to provide me with assurance that this method CAN work! 🙂
Forgive my newbie question, but I just created one blog site with multiple blog topics. I write about business advice, spirituality, home decor, humor, skydive coaching and one for health related topics. Is this what you man when you say “don’t have multiple blogs?” they are all linked to one wordpress address. I cant imagine being able to speak to various audiences with one site. My skydiver students couldn’t care less about business advice and vice-versa.
No, I talk about all kinds of stuff here. Writing, life, stress, kids, publishing, but it is all HERE. I don’t have 14 different sites because I believe people’s heads will explode if I talk about my garden for a day. Just make sure the blog us YOUR NAME. YOU ARE THE BRAND! And never worry. At this blog, newbie questions are always welcome :D.
” Writers are experts at looking at the world around them…and assigning meaning. Writers often are interested in everything.
Use that beautiful fascination and curiosity in your blogs, too.”
Thank you so much for this much needed, very timely article. I have a personal blog and a piano blog (i’m a piano teacher), and the whole silly reason I started blogging in the first place was all because my husband loves my home-made stick figure cards I make for family members’ birthdays and Christmas, and told me to start a stick figure blog. Haha! So I spent countless hours learning about and starting a website(s), wasted lots of time trying to make them more professional looking at the expense of being personal, and then realized I needed to really stop and think about why I was blogging in the first place: I love to encourage, motivate, draw analogies, and have an outlet for creativity. I don’t keep private little personal journals anymore, because I know that if I am greatly encouraged by other people’s blogs, than I hope they are by mine. 🙂
Again, thank you for writing this, and helping me in my writing journey!
Thrilled I could help. A lot of the blogging techniques put creative people in a digital straight-jacket. BE FREE!
Hi Kristen and All Her Loyal Minions 😉
Newbie here with a question. I totally get the logic of only one blog and doing it under one name, preferably our own. I have a question which applies this issue to Facebook. I bought and devoured Rise of the the Machines (love, love love it!) and you talk about not separating your Facebook and writing identities, which brings me to my problem.
Like most of us, I have the Dreaded Day Job. Ok, I actually like my job, but I’ve taken on a lot of extras in the last year or so, which I plan to start scaling back to make more time for writing. I don’t really want my co-workers to know I’m writing yet, because some of them may decide I’m not “committed enough,” blah, blah, and I’ll stop getting classes. I teach history as an adjunct at a local community college and there aren’t many positions around, so they don’t need to “fire” me – just stop giving me enough classes, no “cause” required, and there will be twenty eager new adjuncts waiting in line to take my place. When (note the optimistic “when,” not if) I begin to make enough money from writing to truly supplement my current income, and I can teach because I want to (or not), then I’ll be happy to share with my co-workers what I’m doing. I was planning to write under my former name, largely for this reason, (and partially because my current name is crazy long and would look like scientific notation on an ebook cover thumbnail.)
Now, it’s highly unlikely any of them will find my blog, even if I spammed them with the URL until the next moon landing, but I’m friends with many of them on Facebook (those aren’t the ones I’m worried about, but you know how Facebook is). And you were saying we should maintain one Facebook identity (whether fan page or profile, either way) to help grow our readership organically.
Aaack. I keep running up against this problem. I have a blog set up (hidden, for now), I have WIP in editing, I have your book, and pretty much everything you’ve recommended we buy, I’m actually almost ready to try Terrifying Twitter (thanks to your great advice) but then I come to making the blog public and setting up the rest of the platform, and I freeze up on this.
Advice, ideas, cocktail recipes?
Thanks ahead of time!
My approach is simpler. I have got a personal blog that I am starting about my experiences overseas but I could care less if it really generates anything significant in terms of income. I am also in the process of planning out a major blog that I intend to use towards earning a more full time income from while I have a full time job to fund it (I am planning on doing some work in a foreign country).
I was about to make the mistake of creating 3 different blogs, but now after reading this post I am just going to stick with one. Thanks
I have been grappling with these very questions for a YEAR. By some grace of the Universe I found you and your site today. Thank you for the FANTASTIC series of slaps to the face. I SO needed this!
P,S. love your style, your voice and the way you think.
Perfect timing for finding this blog post! (Even thought you wrote it long ago). I *was* contemplating having multiple blogs for all my different interests, under one webpage. But it never sat well with me, well now I know why! Just earlier today, I decided to create my own *ADD* blog for my multitude of interests. Now I feel more confident about my choice. Thanks!
After reading your post, i think personally, it is the fear of success which is stopping me. I wanted to make multiple blogs. But the only reason is i am afraid if my single blog becomes too big it will be a problem. But then again, my heart and my loyalty is with my first blog.
Hi Kristen Lamb, I’m new to this blogging game, so I wish to thank you forsome great advice. As I will be intergrating my wordpress.blog into my website. I am now cured of R.D.D. Yippee!
I am new to this blog sit and am trying to avoid R.D.D. at all costs! You offered some great advice for me to take into consideration. It really helped – thanks for sharing!
Great advice, but I suppose it might be a better idea to keep two separate blogs, if one is about everyday lifestyle (food,fashion etc), whereas the other one is a hardcore science blog?
Nope. ONE BLOG. Under your name. If you change subjects our brains will NOT explode 😉 . I blog on all sorts of stuff here. Sure social media and writing, but also bullying, pop culture, humor. Your voice is the connecting factor…and your NAME.
Reblogged this on Heron There & Everywhere and commented:
What a wonderful idea! Bear with me, readers. I have four blogs that I will be condensing into one. Instead of spreading myself so thin, I am going to try to post everything in one place.
Nice argument you have here. Personally, i would say it is really not necessary for writers as their focus should be on writing their book. One blog is enough, even if you write under multiple names. Nothing stops you from talking about other peoples book in your blog, so, you could use the same way to talk about those other books without having to create multiple blogs that will suck away all your time.
“…a weird twitch in our left eye, and a need to shout expletives at passing strangers.” I snorted, I laughed so hard. I could actually see this happening and yes, I’m guilty of having my own struggles with R.D.D.
I’m sorry I didn’t stumble upon your blog sooner, as my first novel was just released – under a pen name (hangs head in shame) – although, I have no plans to create any more names at all, I’ve already chosen my main genre. My question when it came to having more than one blog is this:
My main blog is here on WordPress, so I can follow you easily, but what about the sites and authors I’d like to follow and share things with on Blogspot? My Bookmarks list is filling up, and I’m not able to list them as blogs I follow on my WordPress blog. So, is having a twin blog just as bad as having multiple blogs, if I were just copy & pasting the same post onto another platform?
Lastly, thank you for writing this post and your books, which I am going to go look into right now. I have been feeling really poorly about sharing more than just my writing/books/whathaveyou on my blog, wondering if it was too chaotic rather than focused on one subject, but now I don’t feel so bad about having it all in one spot.
My book might answer your question better (sorry about hawking a book) but I avoid Blogger like the plague. I LOATHE it. The life blood of any blog is a healthy comments section and Blogger makes you leave a DNA sample, three letters of reference and a horoscope to comment. These days, if I see a post is on Blogger? I just don’t even read. Your blog should be off a website you OWN anyway. I did all the dumb stuff so you don’t have to. And I recommend a WP-based blog. Easy for people to follow and comment. You just elucidated WHY I avoid Blogger blogs. Short of bookmarking with your browser? No clue.
Does the same apply for bilingual bloggers? People like me who write in two different languages? I thought I should have two blogs so I could direct readers and not confuse them, though I agree with you I now really don’t know what to do. Can you help ?
What language is your book in?
I love this post! I’ve just started building a blog and was debating whether or not to make a second one. I do have a question though.
–Do you think that it is wise to have two separate blogs if they are interconnected on your sites?
I was thinking of having one site be specifically for my writing and have another one dedicated for all my other interests. On both blogs I will have pages and links so that my readers can go to the other site if they choose. I figured that this wouldn’t wear me down because even though I have two blogs they are interconnected and at the same time I can still have all my writing stuff in one place.
ONE blog. Our heads will not explode if you talk about something different 😉 .
Great article! Thank you for the inspiration!
I have 2 blogs, a Photography blog (light inspired.wordpress.com & a Writing blog (observationswritings.wordpress.com (which has ended up having more Poetry on it than general articles).
I have several interests (Photography, writing Poetry, Public Speaking, Writing & am learning to Oil paint). All of these are communicative interests & fit nicely under the banner ‘Communicating Creatively.’
I have created (privately at this stage) a Communicating Creatively blog on WP.
The lightinspired blog (54 followers) will eventually be replaced by a blog on my Zenfolio Photographic business site so that will take care of that one.
The observationswritings blog is actually become a Poetry blog but you wouldn’t know it is about Poetry given the URL (187 followers).
Most of what I write about is to do with Photography, Poetry, Art, Public Speaking but I’m not sure I want 4 separate blogs, which is why I thought a blog contain the above would be a good idea.
I am doing the blogging for fun at present though an entertaining thoughts of turning ‘Communicating Creatively’ into a brand later on…
In searching the Web it seems to indicate that a multiple-niche blog is a bad idea.
What about if the multiple-niche is all connected with one subject like mine are – ‘Communication?’
I would be most grateful for your thoughts on this, Kristen.
YOU are the brand. Because we now live in such a multimedia culture, we are not confused because someone has more than one interest. This blog is bound by the brand “Kristen Lamb” and I blog on social media, writing, craft, business, pop culture, humor, and everyone has lived to see another day 😉 . Having more than one blog is a HUGE time suck that fractures a brand. We no longer need to have different blogs simply because blogs allow us to categorize and also tag. Algorithms guide people.
Thanks Kristen for your thoughts and advice. I launched my new blog, Communicating Creatively today!
Looking forward to more of your articles!
Hi, how about blogging about the same book but for audiences in different languages, is it ok for me to write in two languages in the same blog?
You might choose one day in English and a certain day for your native tongue. Keep it on the same page though. If I don’t speak X I just read the other days.